tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC June 17, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
he was one of a kind, and i love and miss him. continue to send all your questions. e-mail me at ask firstname.lastname@example.org. remember, friend or foe, i want to know. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. before we get into another war, shouldn't we have a vote or something? let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. we americans enjoy our traditions is u.s. open in philadelphia this weekend, the nba championship heading back to miami. the stanley cup. we had another tradition called democracy. it's called giving the people, yes, the people out there beyond washington and new york the
final say in whether we get involved in a war or not. you know, i'm talking about the people who aren't on the sunday tv shows and who don't hold big megaphones of power. who don't get to blow the bugles of war. who voted to send weapons to the rebels funding the government in syria? did you? i didn't. who voted to commit a war against a government with whom we do have diplomatic relations, a government we recognize as the legitimate government of syria? did the senate, did the house of representatives vote? the big shots say we should pay no mind to what the people in the country think. bill clinton even said the other day that presidents shouldn't bow to the pollsters. forget the pollsters. what are they telling us about what the people think? is it important or not that one in five americans wants us in the business of arming rebels in the mideast? is that important or not? are the people considered so out of it we just go skipping off to syria with guns, ammo and whatever else? do the people think what they think matters? is that how it works today? again, back to where i started. we have traditions in this country. i like the one where the people have to be convinced of getting into a war. excuse me for living before we
get into a war. we should decide it up front. you get a better idea of how to run a country that way. joining me right now is senator christopher murphy of connecticut. i have to ask you this, senator murphy, your views on this. i have never seen a slip-slide into a war situation so easily, so delicately that nobody even thinks about having a vote in the congress even. we're taking sides. we're sending guns. people are going to get killed that's what guns are used for in war, and nobody gets to vote. >> you know, people paper over this in part because the president has said he's not going to put boots on the ground. he's not going to put american soldiers there. but there are serious national security consequences to arming these rebels. first and foremost, this is an enormously complicated proxy war. already on the ground you have the russians and iranians. we wouldn't be declaring war on the russians and the iranians, but we would be effectively fighting them on the ground. second, he has not ruled out a
no-fly zone which would put american lives at risk because you're talking about having to take out very complicated russian-built air defense systems. lastly, this isn't a six-month engage. this isn't a one-year engagement. even if you are successful at toppling bashar al assad, which i have doubts about, you then would own this government and the reconstruction of syria for perhaps a decade to come. that's a, you know, hundred billion dollar plus investment for the u.s. taxpayer. we should absolutely have a discussion about this in the united states senate and the united states house of representatives. >> here's the question. we send in guns because we want to stop the bloodshed. we send in guns because we want to end the war and all guns do is continue the war. all they do is keep it going longer. then i say to myself maybe it will end the war faster. no one thinks small arms are going to end the war faster. it's just going to kill more people with blood on our hands. then i go he's aping it for some
kind of phony war where nobody gets hurt, like a phony war in world war i, the so-called phony war where nobody really shot at each other. is that what he's aiming for? do you know what the president's aiming for? i can't figure it out. a transition peacefully where putin goes off to russia or perhaps iran? how does this thing end according to the president? what is he telling you people? >> listen, i acknowledge the president is in an impossible situation here. if he does nothing, it appears he is essentially endorsing the murder of civilians. if he does something -- >> who says that? >> well, listen. i think there is a lot of pressure on him to try to stop this bloodshed. you have to both identify a problem and a solution. >> excuse me. >> we cheered from the sidelines. nobody ever said we should stop the bloodshed. it seems we have particular wars we want to get involved in. the only war going on in the middle east and has been for centuries is between the shia and the sunni. we take the sunni side in this war. we took the shia side in the
iraq war. we're irrelevant except for providing guns. it's not our war. >> listen, you're arguing my points here. i'm simply identifying that you've got to show that there is a problem and a solution. my contention is that we're going to make this worse, not better. i was one of three votes against giving the president the power to arm the rebels in the foreign relations committee against 15 on the other side. here's another problem. you identified the fact that you can't just give them automatic weapons. that's not going to turn the balance. if you give them more serious weapons, then, you know, al qaeda is allied with the people we're supplying weapons to. if you give them more serious high-powered weapons, they could fall into the hands of people who want to do enormous damage to us. this thing is so hyper complicated, it deserves more debate than we've had so far. >> nobody sane is talking about giving them stingers to go after helicopters because that's what we did with the mujahadin who became al qaeda. anyway, after a two-hour bilateral meeting today, president obama and russian president vladimir putin essentially agreed to disagree
on syria. here's what the president said after the meeting. let's watch. >> with respect to syria, we do have differing perspectives on the problem, but we share an interest in reducing the violence, securing chemical weapons and insuring that they're neither used nor are they subject to proliferation. and that we want to try to resolve the issue through political means if possible. >> we're just watching the president talk in tactical terms about chemical weapons and all, but i'll tell you, i didn't see putin joining in there. i don't know what common ground we've got with putin on this except we start shooting at his defense systems over there and his people, as you point out, senator. that's a shooting war between us and the russians, something we've avoided since 1945. in fact, we've always avoided. >> well, and listen, you know, what normally happens here, right, is you have a rebellion.
often sometimes they go without as much bloodshed as you have seen here, and then you have a civil war. this is about as complicated a civil war you get, one in which the iranians and russians are not going to walk away from. a big role in the weakening of aassad is not going to walk away from this. so the united states could potentially be successful in getting the rebels over the hump but then there is going to be a follow-on war that the russians could be involved in, the iranians could be involved in, al qaeda could be involved in. you mentioned at the outset, what is the plan here? what are we really trying to accomplish? if we're trying to accomplish a u.s. friendly permanent government in damascus, that is a ten-year commitment that could involve american deaths and certainly involves billions and billions of dollars. >> thank you so much, chris murphy of connecticut. thanks so much for coming on. for more we're joined by congressman steve riggle, a
republican from virginia. you represent virginia beach and other big places down in virginia. you've got skin in the game. >> absolutely. >> what do you think about this going to war with no vote? they had a little vote over on the senate foreign relations committee. it went 15-3, apparently it's not coming to the floor. >> i applaud senator murphy. i thought the way he articulated is wise. i introduced and the house passed last week an amendment to the national defense authorization act that made clear that the precedent being set by the administration and chris, i think what happened in libya is instructive to us. we launched 221 cruise missiles and over 7 hundred jdam munitions into libya. that didn't rise to the level of triggering the war powers act? i mean, what level of force must we exert before that should be in play? >> what do the people think? the people. i look at this poll we've got here. it's a pew research poll.
i guess it leans a little left sometimes. we notice that. this isn't exactly a close call. 20% support favor backing the so-caused anti-government troops, in other words the rebels. 70% oppose. so one in five are for us arming the rebels. >> right. there's so little what appears to be common ground in washington but there is common ground here. the american people are a good people. it's a noble desire to stop the bloodshed in syria. over 93,000 have been killed. look, that's a burden on any person's conscience, a thinking person's conscience, but this idea that we just have to go out and proactively engage in these things, it's hurt us as a country. and what i'm asking for and what the amendment said was basically that from the framers to the current administration and look, it's not partisan, but what happened in libya is instructive. i think we're kind of headed there on the slippery slope where we're going with sir.
with syria. >> the president's chief of staff. let's hear what denis mcdonough had to say on this now. >> we have to be very discerning about what's in our interest and what outcome is best for us and the prices we're willing to pay to get to this place. we've rushed to war in this region in the past. we're not going to do it here. >> there we go again. and here we go again. there he is like what you said, this pattern of a slippery slope. everybody understood why we went to afghanistan, because that's where the attack came from on 9/11. that's how we do things in this country. then we slipped into libya, no vote on that. now we're already on the edge now of slipping into a war in syria. no vote on that. >> that's right. >> i don't know what kind of vote we're going to have on iran. i don't know what that situation is going to be. >> well, the people's house, the house of representatives passed this amendment with bipartisan support. and this is i think a good indication of the will of the american people. so as noble as the president,
his mission might be now and his desire to stop the bloodshed, i think we ought to limit our support to humanitarian support, put pressure on putin and the new president of iran to not send in the 4,000 revolutionary guards. >> thank you so much. u.s. congressman scott rigell of virginia. coming up, the republican clown show is back in town this week with the faith and freedom coalition featuring like sarah palin who actually sounded pretty smart this weekend. herman cain and rick perry, well, they are themselves. but carnival barkers aside, the gop needs to figure out whether it's a party of libertarians or christian conservatives, or pragmatists, or it might be out of power for a lot more than eight years. on one side you have lindsey graham saying the party needs reform because it's into a demographic death sprierl right now. on the other side if the reform
does pass the gop can kiss texas, florida goodbye. is the case being made for anti-terror surveillance? is case really being made or not? we'll get to that tonight. let me finish with where i started. shouldn't congress have to vote before we get into another war? and this is "hardball," the place for politics. m on expert . and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for, because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. ready to plan for your future? we'll help you get there.
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to in america, where our administration won't make one phone call to save our men and women in a embassy in lebanon. >> well, welcome back to "hardball." another oops from rick perry there whose dig at president obama lost a bite when he mixed up countries that start with l, lebanon and libya. anyway, perry, herman cain and the cast of the gop all-stars turned out for ralph reed's faith & freedom counterclockwise this weekend. at times it looked like a rerun of the 2012 gop primaries. sarah palin was there in full force with her own foreign policy advice for the president in syria. >> we're talking now more new interventions. i say until we know what we're doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows what he's
doing, well, chief, in these radical islamic countries aren't even respecting basic human rights with both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line allahu akbar i say until we have someone who knows what they're doing, i say let allah sort it out. >> red line. allah akbar. former florida governor and potential 2016 contender jeb bush tried to use reason to make his case for republican action on immigration reform. >> -- is destiny. and if that's the case, if that's the case, then we're going to have fewer workers taking care of a larger number of people that have -- the country has a social contract with to be able to allow them to retire with dignity and purpose. we cannot do that with the fertility rates that we have in our country. we're below break even today. one way that we can rebuild the demographic pyramid is to fix a broken immigration system.
immigrants create far more businesses than native born americans over the last 20 years. immigrants are more fertile and they love families and they have more intact families and they bring a younger population. >> less than 24 hours after governor bush spoke as you just saw him, sarah palin couldn't resist taking a jab at him. >> and let's not kid ourselves in believing we can rebuild our majority, by the way, by passing a pandering, rewarding the rule breakers, still no border security, special interest written amnesty bill. and i think it's kind of dangerous territory, touchy territory to want to debate this over one race's fertility rate over another, and i say this as someone kind of fertile herself. >> you can't beat that, can you? new jersey governor much mentioned 2016 candidate chris
christie sat down for discussion with former president bill clinton at the global initiative up in chicago. this party has a lot to figure out right now, but hopes to pick a candidate who can win if 2016. joining me are two great observers, joy reid, managing editor of the grio. i want you to both to reserve your attitudes just a little bit here and try to use your ingenious political instincts and try to see into the belly of the beast, if you will. joy, especially. i want you to see into the stomach of the republican party and find out what its gut is saying to it now as it sort of halfway almost toward another season to pick. as we all know, within the next year, this thing will be hot and heavy for the presidential already. it's no the too early to ask about it. i see the party divided along this spectrum. on the left, if you will, sort of center for most of the country is chris christie. and then moving right, i see -- let's see, i see rubio, bush, and walker.
sort of republican republicans. then when you go further on, i see paul, rand paul and cruz. and then further over i see santorum. and so it does seem to be a spectrum -- hold this up there, please. hold this up there, because it's so wide. i want people to look at it as you talk and try to figure out where the golden mean is. is it somewhere around walker? where do you find sort of the median of the republican party in terms of ideology these days? >> well, chris, first of all, i have to make an observation, is it just me or is sarah palin's hair getting bigger literally every month? it's huge. beyond sarah palin i actually don't think the republican party has a magic mean. i still think the republican party is three pieces. it's a three-legged stool. it's the base, the archie bunker wing of the party that you just saw. the sarah palins of the world appeal to them. then you've got the wall street party. the sort of upper crust part of the party to whom a jeb bush or chris christie might appeal.
then you've got the evangelical wing of the party which is probably the most frustrated part of the party, because they've been getting promises for the longest. they've been told since the '80s eventually their desires, things that are important to them like the anti-abortion legislation will get done, and they never got done. you've got three pieces of the party where it is the wall street part of the party that keeps picking the presidential candidates, and the other two have had it. i don't know there's a mean. i think the three parts are just in three pieces. >> you just defined the republican party of my entire lifetime because starting after world war ii when they picked dewey and an-eisenhower and nixon, generally it's been mitt romney and establishment candidates. >> yep. >> but in the three-legged stool you defined rather well, i think, only one stool is establishment. only one stool thinks about winning. >> that's right. >> the other two vote their guts. i want to get back to you on the gut question, david corn. will the ticked off part of that party, the ted cruz, rand paul, we just want to be the right party, will they finally win it
this time? >> not all legs of the stool are created equal. it's not an even stool. if you know what happened last time around, the tea party wing, the evangelical leg, the angry two legs were a lot bigger than when it came to votes out there and the energy than the establishment one. mitt romney still managed to slide past those guys. but the problem is not with the candidates as much as it is with the base of the party. as angry as they were in 2012, i think joy's right. they're as angry or more angry in 2016. >> i agree. >> so that mean, that nice graphic that you had up there is going to be pulled further to the right. to me the big question though is, last time around the people who appealed to that, herman cain, michele bachmann, a lot of those folks were kind of off the crazy train. this time around if it's going to be ted cruz, rand paul, people who you and i disagree with but who are not as nuts at least in presentation as the
herman cains of the world or even rick perry. so will they be able to finally match the base with somebody with some degree of legitimacy? >> i agree with you. they're not the wingnuts out there because they are more close to what is the gut of the republican party. we just had the james carville the other day who is very smart. he said if you go out and talk to the people of the country, whatever you are, man, woman, whatever background and talk like ted cruz to a republican audience, it's not going to go crazy. i hate the irs. he says that sells. your thoughts, joy, that that will sell. that ted cruz, if he is a natural born american, whatever the terms are defined around by the birther crowd, and he is considered in by the same standards. he would be considered out if he was held to the same standard as the birther crowd on obama. carville thinks he could sell. he could sell. >> and i think ted cruz is a fascinating character. the other dirty secret within the republican party is who the meat and potatoes wing of the
party is mad at right now. yeah that. >> don't like barack obama. they're mad at their own political wing. they're mad at the guys who think they're smarter than them in washington who keep picking people like mitt romney. >> you're saying jeb bush can't win. >> i think he cannot get the nomination because he's seen as one of the establishment guys. whereas rubio and ted cruz are competing right now to sort of split the middle between being plausible enough for independents and still being able to speak to that -- rubio is starting to lose it. but he is tarting to lose it because immigration is something that base is saying hell no. they don't want it. and ted cruz has captured that and he's able a smart guy and able to nuance what he is saying so he still sounds intelligent to the media. ted cruz is interesting. i think rand paul is trying to do the same thing. >> if i were trying to pick a really good candidate for the republicans, i would be looking at rubio because like both parties, you try to go center left and center right. you try to find a way of building a broad support for you, and use your brains and learn how to deal with the other side. rubio is trying to deal with democrats on something that has
to get done for the republicans. who else is trying to get it done? >> you know there are two completely different realities clashing here. one is the republican reality and the other is the rest of the world. >> but you can't say that, because these polls are so close. every time there's an right versus left vote in the this party, you know how close it gets. >> yes. but when it comes to picking a nominee, the republican party is not interested necessarily -- a lot of people, a lot of the primary voters are not interested in finding someone who can win and cut the difference and negotiate the way marco rubio can. which is why i think ted cruz can play it both ways. >> it looks like hillary is rung. will they just go off and have a good time? liking in san francisco and where were we, in georgia somewhere. >> they're going to try to move heaven and earth to stop hillary clinton. you're going to see a civil war like nobody's business. >> will they try to beat her? >> oh, yeah.
>> i think they're going to try. the establishment will want a rubio, but if that immigration law passes, the base is going to be really mad at rubio. ted cruz has made it its mission to undercut and take rubio down. >> if it does pass, that means the majority of the house republicans voted for it. remember. that's the catch 22. if rubio wins, that's because a majority of the house republicans voted for it. because that's there's no way that's going past the house without the hastert rule. thank you, david corn. interesting combinations going on here. i might have slowed you down for a second. up next, vladimir putin it pockets a super bowl ring. i think. i heard the guy he took it from tell me about it. this is "hardball." the place for politics. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age...
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the wright brothers became the first in flight. [ goodall ] i think the most amazing thing is how like us these chimpanzees are. [ laughing ] [ woman ] can you hear me? and you hear your voice? oh, it's exciting! [ man ] touchdown confirmed. we're safe on mars. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ hi. [ baby fussing ] ♪ back to "hardball." now to the sideshow. remember nightmare moment when the 2007's miss teen usa competition when the contestant from south carolina stumbled her way through a question about why 20% of americans can't find the u.s. on a world map? >> some people out there in our
nation don't have maps, and i believe that our education like such as in south africa and the iraq, everywhere such as, and i believe that they should -- our education over here in the u.s. should help the u.s. or should help south africa and should help the iraq and the asian countries so we will be able to build up our future. >> now we turn to this year's version of last night. last night's miss usa pageant. the topic equal pay for women in the workplace. things got a little rocky for miss utah. >> a recent report shows that in 40% of american families with children, women are the primary earners yet they continue to earn less than men. what does this say about society? >> i think we can relate this back to education. and how we are continuing to try to strive to figure out how to
create jobs right now. that is the biggest problem. we need to try to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem. >> hmm. something of a brain freeze i guess. ncaa -- any way, it's not like this kind of thing is new. last year several contenders couldn't quite recall the name of our beloved vice president. >> oh, my gosh. >> what's his name? this is so bad. i just read an article in "new york times." >> the current vice president of the united states is joe biden. >> biden. >> biden. >> i don't know anything about politics. >> joe biden. >> joe biden. >> this is bad. >> i don't know. i'm blanking. >> joe biden. >> world peace. >> about 50/50. despite her fumble over the equal pay question, by the way, miss utah did make it to third runner-up.
republican senator ron johnson also got caught answering a question about workplace discrimination lately. the results were different but not necessarily better. at the faith and freedom's coalition last week, we told you about that, a reporter from think progress asked senator johnson about his position on the employment nondiscrimination act, which would prevent employers from firing someone just because they're gay. >> >> employment nondiscrimination act which makes it illegal to fire someone for being gay. do you know if you'll be supporting that. >> all i can tell you in my own business i had a policy of total nondiscrimination. we had gay and lesbian individuals working for us. >> due think it should be a law though? >> again, i don't particularly like the federal government telling anybody to do anything. >> what about for women? >> we've got to go. >> well, with that logic of his, wouldn't senator johnson be
against the civil rights act because it would tell them they couldn't discriminate. and next the super bowl focus tiff between the united states and russia comes full circle. i heard this story from robert kraft. he talked about the time he let russian president vladimir putin try on his super bowl ring from 2005. i took out the ring and i showed to putin and he had put it on and he goes, i can kill someone with this ring. i put my hand out and he put the ring in his pocket. and three kgb guys got around him and they walked out. kraft later said even though he wanted the ring back, the bush administration asked him to let it stand as a gift and avoid controversy. i heard mr. kraft share that story myself at the suffolk university commencement address several weeks ago. what a story. i'm sure putin is embarrassed. up next, the deep division amongst republicans over immigration reform. it's either going to kill or save the party some say, depending on which republican you're listening to. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. any projects on my home.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here is what is happening. colorado's most destructive wildfire is 75% contained. the black forest fire has destroyed 7500 homes and left two people dead. they're digging up a field outside of detroit searching for jimmy hoffa. britain's prince philip left the london hospital in good spirits today. the queen's 92-year-old husband underwent stomach surgery ten days ago. back to "hardball." this is a great topic. lose now or lose later. that's the choice republicans say they're facing on the issue of immigration reform. think about it. on the one hand, there's a demographic reality out there threatening the future of the party you could say. minorities populations including
hispanics are skewing heavily in favor of democrats. immigrant populations are booming, of course. so is their share of the population. that's why some senators like lindsey graham of south carolina is urging the party to do something to curry favor to the political bloc. do nothing and they say you can basically kiss the white house good-bye in 2016 and well beyond. but doing something means a more immediate backlash from the conservative base, those supporting that bill one that can actually make it to the president's desk would likely result in a voter backlash from conservative republicans out there. so lose now in 2014 or lose later in 2016. that's a narrow look at it. which is it going to be? john brayben is a republican strategist and harold fineman from the huffington media group and an analyst for msnbc. i know that the republicans face a problem with minorities and hispanics going back to the votes they've cast and also class politics. immigrants tend to not be very wealthy. republicans are portrayed fairly
as the party of the better off on all kinds of issues and civil rights not as good as they used to be. there's reasons why people new to the corrupt or here illegally would have a certain attitude about the republican party. but it seems to me if you get more democrats because you're going get more hispanic voters, you saw what happened in california. they became democrats. how do the republicans win this thing? is it a catch 22 to be blunt? we're talking about not the moral issue but the blunt political issue. >> and that's the problem. there is a policy issue and there is a political issue. and the political issue is not as simplistic as people think that it is. i mean, if you look at this, most hispanics less than 50% of hispanics say if the republicans do something, i will consider voting for them. >> consider. >> less than 50%. but the second thing to understand too is among the hispanic group, most people will say economics at least an equal amount to the immigration reform is why they would vote for a candidate. and what we think in this over simplistic washington world is if we just do some immigration reform all of a sudden we'll get
the support from the hispanics and it's not going to happen that way. and the base very well may be turned off. >> howard, look at this politically. in many 2014, this is where i see there's a conundrum coming up this year. all those anglo districts. if you're not hispanic in this way we talk, then you're anglo. obviously not everybody is anglo. if you're in an anglo district which is 80% anglo and you're republican, why would you vote for immigration reform? i mean to be blunt about it in political terms. what is the plus? >> well, let's look at lindsey graham who is the human fault line of the republican party. >> senators now who have a big stake. >> he's a republican senator up for re-election next year. he takes the big view that he wants the republican party to grow. he wants the republican party to reach out to hispanics. that's why he became a member of the gang of eight with marco rubio to work on this legislation. but the other problem that lindsey graham has is he is very
likely to face a tea party challenger next year in the republican primary in that very conservative state of south carolina. so he was looking at the gang of eight as a kind of protection program for himself. get the thing off the table, get it done. ride marco rubio's coattails to some kind of compromise. the problem is the first thing marco rubio said once he put out his bill is you know what? it's not strong enough on the border. i got to make it stronger on the border and lindsey graham is going don't say that. you were my protection. now what. so lindsey graham has got to come out for tougher border enforcement. and i think that the republicans have a very tough time squaring the internal politics of the tea party in 2014 and their national political landscape in 2016. and lindsey graham is the perfect example of it. >> let's let the people talk on this. let's hear senator graham, one of the architects of the gang of eight, the real effort to try to get immigration reform.
he delivered a dire warning to republicans looking to block the program. this is really serious politics here. >> if we don't pass immigration reform, if we don't get it off the table in a reasonable practical way, it doesn't matter who you run in 2016. we're in a demographic death spiral as a party and the only way we can get back in good graces with the hispanic community in my view is pass comprehensive immigration reform. >> by the way, i think he's speaking not exactly but that's a lot what the john mccain thinks if you talk to him. >> absolutely. >> the problem is 2016 looks pretty far away, however, if you're facing reelection in 2014, as howard just said. for house republicans doing nothing is perhaps the better option. that's the thinking of some strategists. the washington examiner reports that, quote, one gop strategist noted house republicans are likely to suffer a greater voter backlash in 2014 if they back the wrong immigration reform bill than they would if they simply did nothing on the issue. it seems to me that you've got examples here. what happened in california when
you got in 1986 bill that was passed legalizing 300,000 people who all became democrats apparently. >> look, the real problem is not just that it's reform, it's comprehensive reform. there's a big difference. a lot of people think the democrats are in trouble because they did comprehensive health care. democrat strategists would tell you they're very nervous come october they won't like what they got. the same thing with immigration. if they just pick the sweet spots and made a clear case. >> that's where the liberals and the hispanic groups will not support a bill if it does not have the path to citizenship which is the hardest thing for your party to swallow. your party, but not the democrats. >> that's the problem. that's the hangup. so we're either going to lose everything and get nothing because of that or you're going to see republican candidates. >> listen to this guy. here is steve stockman, a conservative republican, a conservative republican from texas. warned that if the immigration
bill passious can kiss my state good. it will be just like what happened in california with the '86 amnesty bill. it granted amnesty to 300 illegal immigrants. they became citizens through the provision for agricultural workers alone. california by the way, last voted republican back in '88. >> i know. this is a nation of immigrants. it's a cliche, but it's true. the republican response, correct me if i'm wrong, john, you know what? those people are never going to vote for us. let's build a wall a mile-high. you have to have policies. and he is right about economics being one. and health care is another. the democrats in 1212 used obama care, used it in the hispanic community that was their big outreach. so the republicans can't stand in the door and say no. they've got to figure out a way to get those people. >> whatever bill we pass ought to stop the people racing across the border. it ought to be legalized on paper like any other country
including mexico does it this way. you know, working papers. if you don't have working papers, you don't work in the country. nobody wants to hear that because the unions want what they want, the latinos want what they want. the democrats want the votes. the republicans want the cheap labor. nobody wants a really good law we're proud to enforce. that's what i want. something we're proud of as a country. we're letting people in here as liberal as any country in the world but we're going to keep it on the books. you hear that, john? >> i think howard said something very, very important. the republicans are going to be in a death spiral until whether you're hispanic, white american, whoever, that we are fighting for hard working middle class blue collar americans who feel we understand their lives and are going to fight for them instead of always being taxpayers for the rich or corporations. it's all one big muddle in the middle. >> that sounds like rick santorum's campaign for 2016. i just heard it. >> we were so happy when you sent the donation in this morning. >> thank you. i do like rick santorum personally. i like that case you're making, by the way.
i do like it. it sounds like hillary clinton. thank you, john brabender. still working for the team. and howard fineman. up next, can the case be made by the way after all this government surveillance? this weekend they began to make the case that this has saved us from maybe a dozen serious attacks. how is that caseworking out there? i think the people are still listening to this evidence. they want to see a balanced program, i think. i don't think we're black and white on this baby. this is "hardball." the place for politics. ely for its traffic, congestion, for it's smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the busses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution to the earth. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment.
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moment to talk about the actual good case, if there is one, for government surveillance. we want to hear that side of it. "hardball" back after this. ♪ [ male announcer ] moving object detection. ♪ blind spot warning. ♪ lane departure warning. safety, down to an art. the nissan altima with safety shield technologies. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ but with advair, i'm breathing better.
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hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals and private businesses because it is dangerous." snowden also pointed the finger at president obama personally writing "obama's campaign promises and election gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems he outlined in his quest for votes. he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in guantanamo where men still sit without charge." in wake of snowden's leaks, intelligence officials have disclosed additional information about the programs including they argue its benefits. officials said these programs helped thwart dozens of attacks in 20 countries. is snowden unwittingly making the case for big surveillance or not? michael isikoff, national correspondent, and eugene robinson pulitzer prize winning
columnist for the "washington post" and msnbc political analyst. michael, you're a great fabulous investigative reporter. maybe this isn't your area to ask you about. we have been attacked, know we'll be attacked as long as. the only power comes in knowledge. we need that knowledge. and yet we value very much or cowboy american independence and privacy. what are we -- are we getting to the information from both sides of this argument that's going to help us make that decision? where to draw the line? >> well, first of all, we have clearly learned in the last couple of weeks a lot more about these super secret programs. >> certainly. >> how they operate. legal authorities. because of the leaks of snowden. i think it's going to be an extensive debate about how productive that's been. the intelligence community has declassified a lot and spoken much more openly about these programs trying to make the case that they have been helpful in thwarting terrorist plots.
>> were you surprised as an expert? >> the fact they were using this patriot act provision 215 to collect records of every phone call in the country that everybody had made is not something that we had ever known, not something that was ever contemplate d or discussed >> the fisa courts would never give that broad an authority away. >> you were surprised. >> i was surprised they had done so and surprised the government had never publicly acknowledged this was happening. it's hard to know how merely letting the public know that this program was operational, that we were collecting these numbers was going to tell -- >> gene, you know as much as anybody in the general journalism world knows about everything. you just do. as an editor and columnist. were you surprised at the breadth of the surveillance? >> i was stunned. i had no idea it was that broad. and as mike said, the idea that
a provision in the patriot act that was never designed for this, for anything this broad, was secretly interpreted by a secret court after a secret request from the government to broaden it to cover everybody's phone calls and records of everybody's phone calls is i think stunning. >> were you surprised -- >> i mean, we can have a debate about the effectiveness and the usefulness of collecting this kind of data. >> grown-up people make cost/benefit analysis every day of their lives. can we afford this dinner, afford this trip, afforce this vacation? when you look at their defense of the last several days do you think it's developed enough to justify this? >> i think and i and a lot of people want to know more. >> they haven't pressure -- >> look, they've given a couple examples like the foiling of the zazi plot in new york where they say these programs were key to thwarting it. you know, then you get pushback from others including citing
court documents show actually british intelligence -- >> what about snowden's case that good police work could have gotten -- >> yeah, i think there's some reason to think that might be the case. until you get full sunlight on this -- >> political question. how do the american people make their congress people, republican, democrat, liberal, conservative, get their hands into this. though the average american isn't voting on it, somebody they trust is. apparently they haven't been voting. >> frankly, i don't think this is a voting issue for most people. from the polls we've seen and just from my sense of it. now, at some point it might be. as it sinks in how much data people -- >> i think very young people -- >> is collecting and -- >> i got to go. michael. i'm just getting the sign. michael isikoff, eugene robinson. it's a great american conversation. they don't have this argument in russia. we'll be right back after this. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel.
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let me finish tonight where i began. if we're going to get involved in another war, this time in syria, how about have congress vote on it? what do you think? isn't it reasonable if people are going to die because of this country that the people of this country have a say in it? i'm not asking for an election. just for the elected members of congress to be forced to put their names to it. there ought to be a vote in the senate and the house on the simple question whether the united states should send guns, ammo, and whatever else to the rebels fighting to topple the government of syria. and another thing, should we be committing acts of war against a